Dorothea Dix Research Paper

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Dorothea L. Dix PSY 310 December 19th, 2010 Dorothea L. Dix Dorothea L. Dix was a woman of many splendors. She was not one who wanted credit for her accomplishments for she acted simply in a matter that would best help people. She was driven by the purest desire to help individuals obtain a better life. “There are few cases in history where a social movement of such proportions can be attributed to the work of a single individual” (Gardner & Kovach, 1972). Dorothea accomplished extreme reform for the treatment of the mentally ill. Her achievements are still being felt today (Tiffany, 1891). Dorothea was born in 1802 and had a pretty unstable childhood with a mother of mental illness and a father of alcoholism. From a young…show more content…
Although Dorothea was not a psychologist or therapist of any kind she knew that improving conditions for the mentally ill would help them. In one of her testimonials to legislature she shared this “some may say these things cannot be remedied, these furious maniacs are not to be raised from these base conditions. I know they are…I could give many examples. One such is a young woman who was for years ‘a raging maniac’ chained in a cage and whipped to control her acts and words. She was helped by a husband and wife who agreed to take care of her in their home and slowly she recovered her senses”. The point is that Dorothea did not know the mental process that was occurring with these individuals but she understood that improving their living conditions would not hurt them and it was the right thing to…show more content…
He work and accomplishments have been felt by many. She was a revolutionary for the mentally ill and began her work even before women’s suffrage. Dorothea has been described as “the most effective advocate of humanitarian reform in American mental institutions during the nineteenth century” (Goldenson, 1970). Dorothea was not an expert in the mental health field, which makes her accomplishments and endeavors even more intriguing and unimaginable. That this woman could offer so much reform and understanding for individuals without having a degree in this field is remarkable beyond words. She was an individual who did not want expressions of praise or gratitude for her work. She refused to have hospitals named after her; she desired that her achievements “rest in silence”. This remarkable woman has touched the lives of so many and it is because of her that we can not only thank for the humanity that she brought to the mentally ill but also gives us the knowledge that living conditions can determine the state of one’s

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